In this period of social distancing, most Montreal residents find themselves trapped within the walls of their homes, watching the hours crawl by and gazing out at empty city streets. Some local activities have gone virtual, but boredom is still inevitable. In order to break through this social isolation, one group of Quebecers has organized an event called "Flash tes Lumières." The movement encourages all residents to turn their lights on and off repeatedly at 8:30 p.m. every night for one minute to show solidarity with each other and appreciation for healthcare workers.

Created on Tuesday, March 17 at around 3:00 p.m., the movement's Facebook group already has over 80,000 members at the time of writing and is rapidly growing.

"We are calling on you to make a collective nod to encourage the important work being done by healthcare staff, frontline workers, and our provincial government," the page description reads.

"We wish to create a positive gesture."

It's unclear just where the movement is concentrated. But a quick survey of members shows that they come from all over the province.

Page administrators even checked with Hydro-Québec to ensure that the action wouldn't have an effect on the network.

In a message later shared on the page, the Crown power company states that "we encourage all initiatives that pay tribute to healthcare workers, who do admirable and essential work."

Reports indicate that medical professionals are experiencing particular strain during the pandemic.

In Quebec, officials had to establish a secondary health hotline after Info-Santé 811 became overloaded.

Hundreds of specialists have also had to enter self-isolation after recently travelling. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province, meanwhile, continues to multiply.

Both the provincial and federal governments have put out calls for anyone with healthcare experience or training to sign up to help during this crisis.

"Flash tes Lumières" participants turn their lights on and off every evening at 8:30 p.m.

Administrators in the Facebook group post regular updates.


Quebec health officials released guidelines for individuals to follow to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province, you can read about them here.

More information on hygiene practices during the pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.


This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.

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